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  1. #1
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Measurements to get the right-sized bicycle?

    My husband is currently riding a cheap freebie mass-retailer mountain bike to get back and forth to work (3 miles maybe). He is definitely too large for it. His toes hit the front tire occasionally, he regularly scrapes pedals on the pavement. I know his saddle is a little too low, but with it higher he said he felt unstable.

    I'm about to corner him and get him to sit still long enough to take sewing measurements. What sort of measurements do I need to know in order to get him a bicycle more suited to his size? Please be specific.

    He isn't likely to go into a bike shop and ever get fitted, so the measurements I take and advice given here on the forum will have to serve to get him a new bicycle from craigslist or something. I'd love to see him riding something that doesn't look like a toy. He is 6'2", 300lbs, with a very long torso and probably a 28" inseam.

    Thanks much!

  2. #2
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    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

    This fitting calculator tells you how to take the measurements. Just follow each step.
    Wanted: A new bicycle!
    My birthday is next week. Send monies to the address below!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    That height and that inseam are going to be tough to fit.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  4. #4
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Assuming he's in the market for another MTB/hybrid, a large frame will probably do the job since the top tube will slope enough to get the saddle to the desired height.

    Fitting him to a classic horizontal-TT frame would be a challenge, on the other hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    My problem with most online fit calculators is they are designed for competitive fits. For fitting you might want to take a look at this article for things to consider.

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bike Shop.. Go In , Talk to people, there.. try test rides..

  7. #7
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Thanks Blinkie! Those measurements are worded strangely, but it does tell you exactly what they are looking for.

    That height and that inseam are going to be tough to fit.

    Don't I know it, Nermal. That is the same inseam I have, and I'm only 5'2"!

    The peter White article has very good generalities and how a well-fitted bike should feel, thank you Steve0257.

    Fietsbob, going to a bike shop would be ideal, but we were just in there yesterday for me to finally see it. My husband bought me thorn-resistant tubes, but he was floored by all the expensive bicycles and is not likely to ever get one from there. I tried to explain that even my bicycle was $200, and he still was put off. He also tends to dislike the atmospheres in bike shops. Specialty stores just aren't really for us, I guess. I'm glad they can get business from the richer folks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
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    At 5'11" with a 29 inch inseam, weighing 215, I feel your pain! Sounds like you wound up in the wrong bike shop---keep trying. What he needs is a mixte type of frame which has no top tube, but one or two down tubes that curve towards the bottom of the bike. The Breezer line of bikes currently have models in this style and there are other makers out there. If you are looking for something inexpensive, keep searching Craigs List for a mixte or (mistakenly called) womans bike. I have an old Schwinn Varsity in this style and I really like the old bike. Many of the major makers such as Miata, Schwinn, Raleigh to name just a few made these bikes.

  9. #9
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Ok, bike-related measurements were a little less exact than the sewing ones I got yesterday, but I got them this this morning. Measurements in inches.

    Inseam: 28 3/4
    Trunk: 29
    Forearm: 14
    Arm: 24
    Thigh: 24
    Lower Leg: 22.5
    Sternal Notch: 60
    Total Body Height: 72.5

    All plugged into that website and the results I get are:


    Standover Height Range: 27.5-28.0 inches
    ...This is the distance from the top of the top tube (measured at its midpoint between the seat tube and head tube) to the ground...

    Virtual Top Tube Range: 23.9-24.3 inches
    This is not a measurement of the actual top tube itself. Rather, this corresponds to the mountain bike industry standard of measuring an imaginary line drawn parallel to the ground along the length of the top tube from the midpoint at the seat tube to the midpoint at the head tube. This is also known as an "effective top tube." No single piece of frame geometry has a greater impact on comfort than your top tube. If you plan on paying attention to one measurement and one measurement only, make it this one.

    Stem Length: 7.7-10.1 centimeters
    This measurement indicates your ideal stem length. It takes into account that your stem will be flipped to its flatter angle (e.g. 80, aka -6, for Easton).

    BB-Saddle Position: 60.6-66.6 centimeters
    This measurement is along the seat tube, from the center of the bottom bracket spindle to the top of the saddle. It is an ideal starting point for saddle height. Given the varying differences of cleat and pedal heights, and given the varying differences in the thickness of saddles, the BB-Saddle position has a broad range of 2cm.

    Saddle-Handlebar: 53.1-54.9 centimeters
    This measurement ties together your choice of stem length with the fore/aft position of your saddle. It is measured from the nose of the saddle to the near edge of your handlebar. Keeping within this range will assure that you don't accidentally push the weight balance of your body either too far forward or backward.
    2cm is considered a broad range?
    What does it mean that the stem is flipped to a flatter angle?
    I thought standover height was a given sort of thing- too high and a guy would quite obviously damage himself.


    Do I take this information and a tape measure and go measure bikes now to find one that will work for him??

    (also it slightly bugs me that it gave me the choice to measure in inches or centimeters, and then gives me answers in cm anyway. why bother offering the choice?)

  10. #10
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    I measure my bikes differently, so I can't advise on sizes yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by redeyedtreefr0g View Post
    My husband is currently riding a cheap freebie mass-retailer mountain bike to get back and forth to work (3 miles maybe).
    To convince him that it's okay to spend more than a hundred bucks on a bike, sit him down and calculate how much gas (and oil changes, etc) he'd save by biking instead of driving. Even at 3 miles each way, I'll bet he could pay off a bike sooner than he expects, especially if he (and you) starts using the bike for other excursions.

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